Power BI May 2019 Updates

Each Month Power BI Releases an update and we like to go through the updates and come up with our favorites of the month (And those updates that aren’t as successful)

Modelling

Disable auto date tables for new reports

If you have dates within your tables, all dates have a hidden auto date table for each date. This can increase the file size.

This can now be turned off if you have everything within a date time dimension.

Your dates will not have the automatic drill down hierarchy.

The hierarchy will be set in the date dimension manually.

It would be useful to know if this has any impact with DAX functions like TOTALYTD and  SAMEPERIODLASTYEAR

Performance analyzer pane

Its so useful to be able to analyse how our Visuals and data impacts report performance and the analyser pane now allows us to see behind the scenes so we can optimize performance.

If I open my Adventureworks pbix file in Desktop and go to view

The Performance analyzer is now available to select

There are two ways to check performance. One is to start recording and then use it as a user would interact with your reports.

Once you click Start Recording you can then decide to Refresh visuals which creates an example where the user is opening the report.

In this example, refresh Visuals is chosen

This gives you the duration (ms)

Straight away you can see that Sales Amount, Order Quantity and Discount amount are taking the longest time but nothing here is overly worrying.

There is another way of using the report. If you are interested in a specific visual. Highlight the visual and click refresh visuals which is a new icon available when the Performance analyzer is selected.

Remember to clear first

Checking the Scatter chart, Other is taking the longest time.

Other is not as obvious as DAX Query or visual display.  There are a lot of contributing factors within other. For example, if your visual is in a queue because you have a lot of visuals, this time will be within other.

The more visuals the longer other will be.

This is a great new feature, especially if your pages are struggling and you want to know why. Being able to export your results is also a really useful feature.

Personally, I think a drill down on Other would be really beneficial but otherwise this is a great update

Filter pane improvements

Filters can now be reordered. A small but useful improvement

Line Data Label Position control

For Line charts. When lines are near each other it has been difficult to tell what label belongs to what line. This has now been resolved. Within Format > Data Labels there is a Customise Series toggle.

Once set to On, there are lots of options for each Line

In this case, Only Position is altered. Under for Sales amount. Its actually quite confusing that there is only one section even through we have two lines.

The trick is that you set Sales amount, then go back up and select the other line and resolve the formatting (Flicking back to Sales amount and the options chosen are still selected)

I have already had lots off issues with Line charts looking cluttered when using labels so this is a real hit for me.

KPI Visual Indicator Text size control

At long last. Instead of having to go with the KPI Text size which has always make the KPI’s seem overly large for a report, we can finally change the text size.

I use a lot of KPIs so this is a very welcome change.

An original KPI. The Figure is way too large which means you can only have a few KPI’s and you can only use them as large tiles.  Note that the visual is too small for the metric.

Great, the new Text size option allows us to have much more control over the design of the KPIs and out overall reports

There is still so much that needs to be done with the KPI. For example, the word Goal: Sometimes this isn’t specifically a goal. I use KPIs for example to show the difference between this year and last year. You cant change this at the moment but this really needs to be updated to make the KPI more useable for different scenarios.

Analytics

Key influencers visual Improvements (preview)

Here is an example visual looking at what influences the Product Pricing category

Binning Support and Formatting

In this example, NSAT has been added to the Explain by. NSAT is a numeric fields. 1,2,3,4 etc. The visual has put the NSAT into bins for you in a way to categorise this field to produce better results.

There is also more formatting capabilities, you can adjust colours within ‘Analyis Visual Colours’

Primary color – The colour for the Bubble or bar

Secondary color – The colour for the other bubbles or bars

Mobile Support

Its been updated to work on mobile devices

I love this visual. I use it for sentiment scoring on Tweets for Positive, negative and neutral tweets. It can do so much but the colours were different to my other reports. I can not rectify this and make it blend more with the overall look.  This is a real winner.

Custom Visuals

Power Slicer

The new Power Slicer, Available from the Market Place should have better formatting and chiclet availability in here. There is also a default value selector.

(new Date()).getMonth()+1

The above is the JavaScript for select current Month

There are lost of different layout options. You can format the slicer. It looks better than the original filter

I tried the new Power Slicer and Like many other people found it un-useable because of the watermark. It is a real pity because Its mentioned on the Power BI Update video but its not a successful update.

I was really looking forward to using this visual, so this was disappointing

Data Connectivity

Another Major disappointment is the Azure Cost Management Connector. I was really looking forward to getting started with this but haven’t yet been given the correct details to use it. The How to guides appear to be out of date.

It asks for the Billing Profile ID, but no one knows what this is.

Here’s hoping they sort this out soon because at present this data connector is not working.

https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Desktop/Using-new-Azure-Cost-Management-Connector-issues-with-Account-ID/m-p/657545#M315621

The issue still stands on the 5th April so let’s hope it’s resolved in the next release

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